Do you need to get a tax ID for your Washington business?
Businesses come in many shapes and sizes, and there are dozens of business entities to choose from, including limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and even nonprofits. But no matter what kind of business you have, there’s a good chance you’re going to need a federal tax ID number, sometimes called an EIN, to operate legally in Washington.
In this article, you’ll learn what a federal tax ID number is, how it works, and most importantly, how to get one as conveniently as possible.
- All Necessary Information
- Submit an Application for Your Washington Tax ID Online
- Submit an Application for Your Washington Tax ID by Phone, Mail or Fax
- Are EIN Numbers and Tax ID Numbers the Same?
- How to Get a Tax ID Number Fast
- Washington State Tax ID Number: What It Is and How to Get One
Before you begin the tax ID application process, it’s wise to gather all the necessary information for the form. Regardless of the medium you use to apply, you’ll need to answer several prompts about your business and its founding members. For example, you’ll need to provide the full legal names and legal addresses of your business partners (as well as your own). You’ll also need to provide those business members’ social security numbers. Fortunately, the tax ID application is pretty short, so these pieces of information should be all you need to finish the application as quickly as possible.
You’ll have your choice of application methods when trying to get a tax ID number for your business. There are several mediums available, some of which are based on traditional methods. However, it’s objectively easier and much faster to apply for your tax ID online.
You can pull up the online application for your tax ID using any internet-connected device, instantly making it more convenient than applying by phone or with a paper application. If you’ve gathered all the information listed in the section above, you should have no trouble finishing the application in 5 minutes or less.
The most important benefit of the online application, however, is the processing time. After submitting the application, you should receive your tax ID by email in the span of an hour. Compared to the 4 to 6 weeks it takes to get your tax ID with other methods, this is lightning fast.
It’s inadvisable to use any method other than the online application, but there are some traditional application methods that still exist. For example, you can apply for your tax ID over the phone, talking to a representative and answering the same questions about your business. You can also apply using a paper application, writing out all your answers by hand. When done, you can mail or fax the form in to the right authorities; if you do, you’ll need to wait 4 to 6 weeks to receive your tax ID number by mail.
The terminology used to describe tax ID numbers can get confusing, especially if you’re new to the business world. Are EINs and tax ID numbers the same thing?
First, you should know there are multiple types of tax ID numbers. Your federal tax ID number, also called an employer identification number (EIN), is provided to you by the federal government. It’s a 9-digit, unique identifier meant to keep track of your business for tax and other purposes. In other words, EINs and federal tax ID numbers are the same thing.
You’ll need one if you’re hiring employees, if you’re going to apply for a business loan or bank account, or if you’ll need to apply for a business license, permit, or other form of certification.
However, your Washington state tax ID number is a different identification number. It’s used to uniquely identify your business as well, but it’s given by the state government of Washington. You’ll need this number for your business if you’re going to hire employees in the state, if you’ll owe excise taxes for regulated products, or if you’re selling taxable goods and services in the state.
Most business owners are interested in beginning or resuming their business operations as quickly as possible. Accordingly, they don’t want to waste time with inefficient or troublesome tax ID application methods; they want to get a tax ID number as quickly as possible.
No matter what, you’ll have to fill out an application for your tax ID number, but as long as you have the right information available, it should only take you a few minutes, especially if you apply online. Applying online also means you can access and fill out that application at any time, 24/7.
While traditional methods still exist, they’re objectively inferior to the online application method. Applying online is simpler, more accessible, but most importantly, fast. You can complete the online application faster than a paper application or over-the-phone interview, and you should get your tax ID via email within an hour of finishing it.
In an earlier section, we explained that your Washington state tax ID number is distinct from your federal tax ID number, and you’ll need one if you’re hiring employees in the state or if you’re selling taxable goods and services there. So how can you get one as quickly as possible?
First, you’ll need to have an EIN. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, use the online application so you can get one in an hour or less. With that in hand, you can begin the state tax ID number application. Again, you have several application options, but some are going to be more valuable to you than others. Traditional methods like applying by mail or over the phone are available to you, but it’s much better to apply online. It’s highly accessible and easy to apply online, but most importantly, the turnaround time is more favorable. You should receive your Washington state tax ID number in 4 to 6 weeks.